Wednesday, January 31, 2018

question


 


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Why is the physical world experienced as external and the mental world experienced as internal?

... the physical world is res extensa, body with extension, and therefore subject to division. In other words, the physical world is distinguished by the division of micro and macro, the latter being conglomerates of the micro.

In the physical world, we do not have direct conscious access to the micro. We see the micro only with the amplifying help of the macro, the measuring-aid apparatuses. But there is a reward. Once the measurement is made and a particular pointer reading of the measurement apparatus has been chosen out of the myriad macro possibilities, the pointer does not run away, jumping on the train of quantum uncertainty. Its possibility waves are very sluggish, almost to the point of certainty, a certainty that can be shared by many observers. As a result, physical objects are experienced as parts of a shared reality, an external reality in awareness.

But the mind, res cogitans, is without extension, it is one thing. It is like the infinite medium of the physicist in which there can be waves, and thoughts are such waves. However there is no micro/macro distinction in the mental world. So we experience thoughts directly without the intermediary of amplifying apparatuses, but we pay a price. One price is that one person's experiencing a thought object effects the thought object due to the uncertainty principal, so that it is impossible (normally) for another person to experience the same thought object in an identical manner. Thoughts are private, thus experienced in awareness as internal.

The other price for the lack of micro/macro distinction in the realm of thought is that it is impossible to develop a tangled-heirarchical quantum-measurement apparatus. So mind can exist independent of the brain, but its movements can be registered and experienced in consciousness only when correlated with a physical brain.


–Amit Goswami
Quantum Doctor


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The Mouth of Krishna
Albarran Cabrera

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observ(ation





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The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed,
will set off a revolution.


—Paul Cezanne

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observ(er







There is the body. 

Inside the body appears to be an observer, and outside a world under observation. 

The observer and his observation as well as the world observed appear and disappear together. Beyond it all, there is void. 

This void is one for all.


–Nisargadatta Maharaj


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appearances

 



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What we observe as material bodies and forces are nothing but shapes and variations in the structure of space. Particles are just appearances.

The world is given to me only once, not one existing and one perceived. Subject and object are only one. The barrier between them cannot be said to have broken down as a result of recent experience in the physical sciences, for this barrier does not exist.



–Erwin Schrodinger
Quantum Theory

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note to self




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What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning.

–Werner Heisenberg

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hello





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Sawubona, a Zulu word for hello, literally translates to
"I see you, and by seeing you, I bring you into being."


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from Susan David's TED talk
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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

'Who in the world am I?' Ah, that's the great puzzle! ―Alice





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I am going to tell you what nature behaves like.

If you will simply admit that maybe she does behave like this, you will find her a delightful, entrancing thing.

Do not keep saying to yourself, if you can possibly avoid it, ‘but how can it be like that?’ because you will get ‘down the drain,’ into a blind alley from which nobody has yet escaped.

Nobody knows how it can be like that.

―Richard Feynman

...


But I don’t want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
"Oh, you can’t help that," said the Cat: "we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad."
"How do you know I’m mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn’t have come here.”

―Lewis Carrol
Alice in Wonderland

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no(body





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You know you are. How do you know it? And with what did you know it? This is the sum total of my teaching needed to put you on the right track, its very quintessence.

...


Come to the conclusion: I am unborn, I was unborn and I shall remain unborn.


...


Be aware of being conscious and seek the source of consciousness. That is all.


–Nisargadatta Maharaj






Sunday, January 28, 2018

the perfume of lucid sight





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“It is understood that
Sleep is the desire for
A period of rest
For the body.
It is less understood that
Sleep is the desire for
A period of rest
Away from the body.”


"What constitutes the sense of 'I am this' is
Constantly changing while
What constitutes the sense of 'I am' is unmoving.
The shift in the attention from
The former to the latter is
The perfume of lucid sight."



—Wu Xin (Wu Hsin, 无心)
The Lost Writings of Wu-Hsin


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the cold before the moonrise





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It is too simple to turn to the sound
Of frost stirring among its
Stars like an animal asleep
In the winter night
And say I was born far from home
If there is a place where this is the language may
It be my country

—W.S. Merwin

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Silence will carry your voice like the nest that holds the sleeping birds. –Rabindranath Tagore





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Be at peace, in peace.
All that matters is to be at one with the living God,
to be a creature in the house of the God of Life.
Like a cat asleep on a chair
at peace, in peace
and at one with the master of the house, with the mistress,
at home, at home in the house of the living,
sleeping on the hearth, and yawning before the fire.


Sleeping on the hearth of the living world
yawning at home before the fire of life
feeling the presence of the living God
like a great reassurance
a deep calm in the heart
a presence
as of the master sitting at the board
in his own and greater being,
in the house of life.



–D. H. Lawrence
pax


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Saturday, January 27, 2018

questions





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Where do we find ourselves? In a series of which we do not know the extremes, and believe that it has none. We wake and find ourselves on a stair; there are stairs below us, which we seem to have ascended; there are stairs above us, many a one, which go upward and out of sight. But the Genius which, according to the old belief, stands at the door by which we enter, and gives us the lethe to drink, that we may tell no tales, mixed the cup too strongly, and we cannot shake off the lethargy now at noonday. Sleep lingers all our lifetime about our eyes, as night hovers all day in the boughs of the fir-tree. All things swim and glitter. Our life is not so much threatened as our perception. Ghostlike we glide through nature, and should not know our place again.
Did our birth fall in some fit of indigence and frugality in nature, that she was so sparing of her fire and so liberal of her earth, that it appears to us that we lack the affirmative principle, and though we have health and reason, yet we have no superfluity of spirit for new creation? We have enough to live and bring the year about, but not an ounce to impart or to invest. Ah that our Genius were a little more of a genius!


–Ralph Waldo Emerson
Essays: Second Series

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home again


 


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Home again. But what was home?
The fish has vast ocean for home.
And man has timelessness and nowhere.

"I won't delude myself with the fallacy of home," he said to himself.
The four walls are a blanket I wrap around in,
in timelessness and nowhere, to go to sleep.


–D.H. Lawrence

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marvel(ous






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Last night, as I was sleeping,
I dreamt — marvelous error!—
that a spring was breaking
out in my heart.
I said: Along which secret aqueduct,
Oh water, are you coming to me,
water of a new life
that I have never drunk?

Last night, as I was sleeping,
I dreamt — marvelous error!—
that I had a beehive
here inside my heart.
And the golden bees
were making white combs
and sweet honey
from my old failures.

Last night, as I was sleeping,
I dreamt — marvelous error!—
that a fiery sun was giving
light inside my heart.
It was fiery because I felt
warmth as from a hearth,
and sun because it gave light
and brought tears to my eyes.

Last night, as I slept,
I dreamt — marvelous error!—
that it was God I had
here inside my heart.


—Antonio Machado (1875 - 1939)
Robert Bly version
read here by Robert Bly



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call and answer






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The little river twittering in the twilight,
The wan, wondering look of the pale sky,
This is almost bliss.
And everything shut up and gone to sleep,
All the troubles and anxieties and pain
Gone under the twilight.
Only the twilight now, and the soft "Sh!" of the river
That will last forever.
And at last I know my love for you is here;
I can see it all, it is whole like the twilight,
It is large, so large, I could not see it before,
Because of the little lights and flickers and interruptions,
Troubles, anxieties and pains.
You are the call and I am the answer,
You are the wish, and I the fulfillment,
You are the night, and I the day.
What else - it is perfect enough.
It is perfectly complete,
You and I,
What more--?
Strange, how we suffer in spite of this.

–D. H. Lawrence


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Friday, January 26, 2018

a poet reflects






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The sky said I am watching
to see what you
can make out of nothing
I was looking up and I said
I thought you
were supposed to be doing that

the sky said Many
are clinging to that
I am giving you a chance

I was looking up and I said
I am the only chance I have
then the sky did not answer

and here we are
with our names for the days
the vast days that do not listen to us

–W. S. Merwin


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a song for nobody





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A yellow flower
(Light and spirit)
Sings by itself
For nobody.
A golden spirit
(Light and emptiness)
Sings without a word
By itself.
Let no one touch this gentle sun
In whose dark eye
Someone is awake.
(No light, no gold, no name, no color
And no thought:
O, wide awake!)
A golden heaven
Sings by itself
A song to nobody.


–Thomas Merton


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in gratitude






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We kneel in gratitude
as the movements in love
disperse our sweet intentions
across the fictions
of Companionship-

two of the creatures
which You named Me


–Leonard Cohen


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i used to know my name





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I used to know my name. Now I don’t.
I
think a river understands me.

For what does it call itself in that blessed moment when it starts emptying into the Infinite Luminous Sea, and opening every aspect of self wider than it ever thought possible?

Each drop of itself now running to embrace and unite with a million new friends.

And you were there, in my union with All, everyone who will ever see this page.


–Hafiz


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Thursday, January 25, 2018

To love is to undress our names. —Octavio Paz





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We commonly speak as though a single 'thing' could 'have' some characteristic. A stone, we say, is 'hard,' 'small,' 'heavy,' 'yellow,' 'dense,' etc.

That is how our language is made: 'The stone is hard.' And so on. And that way of talking is good enough for the marketplace: 'That is a new brand.' 'The potatoes are rotten.' 'The container is damaged.' ... And so on.

But this way of talking is not good enough in science or epistemology. To think straight, it is advisable to expect all qualities and attributes, adjectives, and so on to refer to at least two sets of interactions in time. ...

Language continually asserts by the syntax of subject and predicate that 'things' somehow 'have' qualities and attributes. A more precise way of talking would insist that the 'things' are produced, are seen as separate from other 'things,' and are made 'real' by their internal relations and by their behavior in relationship with other things and with the speaker.

It is necessary to be quite clear about the universal truth that whatever 'things' may be in their pleromatic and thingish world, they can only enter the world of communication and meaning by their names, their qualities and their attributes (i.e., by reports of their internal and external relations and interactions).



–Gregory Bateson (1904 - 1980)
Mind and Nature: A Necessary Unity


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listen





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Be quiet. Ra is in the wind.
He speaks when the earth is silent and he alone existed until he named the names of things.
River, he said, and River lived.
Nile. Mountain. Beetle. Fisherman.
From his tongue springs words of water.
The river quakes with the sound of his voice.
Air escaping from his nose. Breathe deep.
The wind a sigh from his mother.
Such things are made everyday:
Duck, Mandrake, Raisin.
Grape, Pomegranate, Melon.
Cypress, Palm, Osiris.


–The Egyptian Book of the Dead


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little point of nothingness





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There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun. 
At the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusion, a point of pure truth, a point or spark which belongs entirely to God, which is never at our disposal, from which God disposes of our lives, which is inaccessible to the fantasies of our own mind or the brutalities of our own will. 

This little point of nothingness and of absolute poverty is the pure glory of God in us. 
It is, so to speak, his name written in us … like a pure diamond, blazing with the invisible light of heaven. 
It is in everybody, and if we could see it we would see these billions of points of light coming together in the face and blaze of a sun that would make all the darkness and cruelty of life vanish completely.

I have no program for this seeing. It is only given. 
But the gate of heaven is everywhere.


–Thomas Merton
shining like the sun



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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

considering





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Consider that:

you can see less than 1% of the electromagnetic spectrum and hear less than 1% of the acoustic spectrum.
As you read this, you are traveling at 220 km/sec across the galaxy.
90% of the cells in your body carry their own microbial DNA and are not “you.”
The atoms in your body are 99.9999999999999999% empty space and none of them are the ones you were born with, but they all originated in the belly of a star.

Human beings have 46 chromosomes, 2 less than the common potato.
The existence of the rainbow depends on the conical photoreceptors in your eyes; to animals without cones, the rainbow does not exist.

So you don’t just look at a rainbow, you create it.

This is pretty amazing, especially considering that all the beautiful colors you see represent less than 1% of the electromagnetic spectrum.


–NASA Lunar Science Institute



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the freedom of the universe





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"To every Form of being is assigned,"
Thus calmly spake the venerable Sage,
"An 'active' Principle:--howe'er removed
From sense and observation, it subsists
In all things, in all natures; in the stars
Of azure heaven, the unenduring clouds,
In flower and tree, in every pebbly stone
That paves the brooks, the stationary rocks,
The moving waters, and the invisible air.

Whate'er exists hath properties that spread
Beyond itself, communicating good,
A simple blessing, or with evil mixed;
Spirit that knows no insulated spot,
No chasm, no solitude; from link to link
It circulates, the Soul of all the worlds.

This is the freedom of the universe;
Unfolded still the more, more visible,
The more we know; and yet is reverenced least,
And least respected in the human Mind,
Its most apparent home."


–William Wordsworth 1770 - 1850
The Excursion, Book 9, excerpt



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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

twinkle, twinkle





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living on the plains






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That winter when this thought came -- how the river
held still every midnight and flowed
backward a minute -- we studied algebra
late in our room fixed up in the barn,
and I would feel the curved relation,
the rafters upside down, and the cows in their life
holding the earth round and ready
to meet itself again when morning came.

At breakfast while my mother stirred the cereal
she said, "You're studying too hard,"
and I would include her face and hands in my glance
and then look past my father's gaze as
he told again our great race through the stars
and how the world can't keep up with our dreams.


–William Stafford
The Way It Is


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dronephoto Two Moo
LukeMaximoBell
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take nothing with you





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Wherever you are, you are one with the clouds and one with the sun and the stars you see.
You are one with everything.
That is more true than I can say, and more true than you can hear.


–Shunryu Suzuki


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Sunday, January 21, 2018

The Fundamental Components of the Cosmos


 


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Throughout his life, (John) Wheeler aspired to understand the most fundamental components of the cosmos.

He changed his mind on that issue several times in his career, starting with particles, venturing into fields and geometry, and finally delving into information.

He also wanted to comprehend the organizing principles steering those components into recognizable patterns. Sum over histories, based on the principle of least action applied to quantum physics, was one such idea, but he also considered others.

In the end, he became convinced that the answer had to do with a “self-excited circuit”: a symbiosis between conscious observers and what they were observing, namely, the cosmic past. Somehow, through our looks back in time, we organized our own universe, from among the frothy possibilities of the quantum foam.

Therefore, in Wheeler’s mind, the questions of “How come existence?” and “How come the quantum?” became inextricably linked.


—Paul Halpern
The Quantum Labyrinth: How Richard Feynman and John Wheeler Revolutionized Time and Reality






like this






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There is a way between voice and presence where information flows.

In disciplined silence it opens.

With wandering talk it closes.


—Rumi

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